Apple tarts, cakes and tarts are close to my heart. When I stood peeling these apples I went on a memory trip to my childhood. I was very young when I sat on the covered ‘stoep’ (veranda) of our Karroo farmhouse ‘assisting’ with peeling of baskets of apples. My Mother bottled apple pie filling and apple sauces that lasted for the rest of the year.

Low on flour and sugar

This apple cake appealed to me as it had a small proportion of ‘pastry/batter’ and tons of fruit! I once saw a similar recipe, which I did not record, so I created my own version! In this recipe I added blueberries. I think I’m hooked on blueberries! When we were in the US and Canada two years ago I tasted my through everything blueberry. Unfortunately our local fruit lacks the depth of flavour, but I still enjoy it. If you ever have the opportunity of tasting the tiny wild blueberries in the US or Canada, don’t hesitate!

Bonus is that they are packed with all the good nutrients that our modern lifestyles demand.

If you don’t want to use blueberries, use raspberries or golden sultanas that have been soaking in brandy or sherry for a few days. Ring the changes by adding cinnamon or candied peel, be creative.

I love combining herbs with fruit.

Only after I had popped the cake into the oven I realised that I had forgotten to add the thyme. It was pouring with rain so I had put off running into the veggie garden to pick it. It is a bit of a pain removing the leaves from the stem, but if you just run a stem between two fingers the tiny leaves pop off. Use a few sprigs to decorate the finished cake.

This cake uses a huge amount of apples in proportion to batter, resulting in a virtually solid layer of apple ‘glued’ together by thin layers of batter. The proportion of flour and sugar is very low compared with other cakes, with a yield of about 12-14 slices it is a fairly healthy option.

I deviate, back to my recipe….. as the apples need to soften, this cake takes ages to bake so be patient! I started off with 40 minutes at 180°C, but ended up baking for 70 minutes! It must cool in the pan and preferably stand overnight to ‘set’.

This is somewhere between a cake and a dessert. It is delicious as a family treat or a healthy celebration cake! Serve it with lashings of cream or full fat yoghurt, or with a custard as a dessert.

Recipe: Apple Cake With Blueberries and Thyme